Routemaster gear selection
Well done Nick Larkin on the fascinating article of undoubtedly the most famous roadgoing icon of all time – the Routemaster bus ( CCW 17 February).
However, as a PSV driving instructor and assessor I did have to wince somewhat at Nick’s suggestion of ‘dropping down into third’ in a quick stop situation. Semi-automatic gearboxes if driven properly require a definitive pause in neutral between gear changes to allow the previous gear band to release, otherwise the gearbox will soon suffer slipping gears. So if you were operating the gearbox correctly all that dropping down a gear would achieve would be coasting to the point of stopping in a quick stop situation losing the effect of engine braking! Mark Southgate, Hurstpierpoint, West Sussex